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The recently held Indian Fire, Security, and Integration Summit 2012 reviewed the tough market conditions in the fire safety segment due to huge competition and projected buyouts, and viewed infrastructure as the biggest market.A glaring example of low priority to fire safety in India’s infrastructure industries is the recent fire in the New Delhi-Chennai Tamil Nadu Express, which took 32 lives. Despite its obvious importance, fire safety in infrastructure has been neglected and perceived as an unnecessary investment by many end users and asset owners, as there is no return on investment (ROI) on the adoption of fire and gas detection and suppression systems.Lately, though, there has been increasing awareness that these systems not only protect assets from fire accidents, but also create safe working environments, which will further attract investments in cities and towns. Fire safety is increasingly becoming an integral part of the infrastructure growth in India. The Indian fire and safety market, albeit smaller in size when compared to the markets in North America and Europe, has been registering double digit growth in the last few years.Penetration of information technology (IT) is allowing the integration of fire systems with wireless and Internet Protocol (IP) technologies making them smarter and more reliable than conventional fire systems. Opportunities abound in India’s real estate segment (commercial and residential), as the construction sector gains more pace. Several infrastructure projects such as development of major international and domestic airports, modernisation of railway stations at key cities, metro rail projects, etc, will offer fillip to the fire and safety market in the long term.As the fire and safety market size grows, price-sensitive end users, lack of product differentiation and increasing competition make it a hostile market, going forward. As there is a wide base of small and medium domestic participants who offer tough competition to multinational companies, it is expected that companies with deep pockets would buy out small and medium companies to gain market share rapidly, besides increasing their reach through expanded distribution network.Threats and safetyThe growing threat of terror and increasing awareness of electronic security solutions are propelling the demand for electronic security products. With the country’s security spending expected to reach almost $10 billion by 2016, the electronic security and surveillance markets are expected to cross $1.5 billion during the same time.The debilitating tax structure, lack of indigenous innovation and product development, shortage of trained personnel, lack of standards, and infrastructure inadequacy are some of the challenges constricting growth of the Indian security and surveillance industry. However, evolving technology developments such as the shift towards IP from analogue system in surveillance, the emergence of integrated security systems, and security as a service model are some of the trends aiding in influencing the adoption of electronic security and thus driving its growth.Frost & Sullivan’s recent research on the Indian video surveillance market estimates the market to be worth Rs 1,461 crore in 2012 and is expected to grow at a CAGR of 31 per cent till 2016. Whilst the analogue market is expected to be overtaken by the IP market during this period, there are a distinct set of applications driving the demand and growth of each. In the video surveillance space, research indicates that the government, airports and mass transit, and industries are the top three end-user segments contributing to demand. Frost & Sullivan opines that the growth of IP surveillance, emergence of Video Surveillance as a Service (VSaaS) model and the penetration of integrated security and surveillance solutions to be the three major emerging trends to watch for in the security and surveillance space in coming years.Improving market conditions coupled with technological advancements have helped the Indian Building Management Services (IBMS) market gain back its fame as one of the fast-growing markets. IBMS market represents an integration of fire and safety, security and surveillance, building automation, energy management and other Building Management Solutions industries. The IBMS market, which comprises building automation, fire safety, security and energy management is currently estimated at Rs 2,600 crore and expected to grow at a CAGR of 13 per cent between 2012 and 2016.Frost & Sullivan recently presented a series of papers on each associated vertical of the IBMS market at a summit in Mumbai. It presented papers on, An Overview of India Fire and Safety Products Market, ‘A 360-Degree Perspective of Indian Integration Practices, Indian Security and Surveillance Market, and Mega Trends in India: Macro to Micro Implications of Mega Trends till 2020. The business of fire safety was discussed at length at the the Indian Fire, Security, and Integration (IFSAI) Summit 2012, co-hosted by Frost & Sullivan and Fire and Safety Association of India (FSAI) on 22-23 June at the Taj Lands End, Mumbai.Addressing the Summit, Sasidhar Chidanamarri, Industry Manager, Environment and Building Technologies Practice, Frost & Sullivan, stated, “The Indian fire and safety market is expected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 16 percent over the next five years. Presently, the commercial/retail segment is driving the market and its overall growth is due to the thrust imparted by the infrastructural and industrial segments.”The Summit witnessed a convergence of industry players getting a peak perspective on the growth opportunities present in the fire, safety, and security products market in India.